About the Institute of Modern Art

The Institute of Modern Art (IMA) has been a leading independent space in Australia for the production, presentation, and circulation of contemporary art and discourse for forty years. Our innovative and diverse programs embed the international in the local and engage the local internationally.

The IMA has museum-grade, climate-controlled gallery spaces in which we present an ambitious program of exhibitions, concentrating on commissioning new works by Australian and international artists at pivotal points in their practices, as well as connecting underrepresented artists with wider audiences. The IMA has a longstanding commitment to research and a rich history of publishing  artist monographs and critical readers. We also have an extensive public program including targeted educational initiatives for young people and adults, and development opportunities for secondary and tertiary teachers and arts professionals. Please explore the IMA’s forty year history and browse our publications.

The IMA is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, and from the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council for the Arts, and through the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian Federal, State, and Territory Governments. The IMA is a member of Contemporary Art Organisations Australia (CAOs).


Executive Directors

Aileen Burns & Johan Lundh

As Executive Directors, Aileen Burns and Johan Lundh oversee all aspects of programming and organisational development. Since joining the IMA in early 2014, they have worked with Studio Miessen on updating the premises and initiated a bookstore partnership with Motto distribution. The IMA's program is set by the Executive Directors and drafted 18-24 months in advance. Most recently, Burns and Lundh were Co-Directors of the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA), Derry, Northern Ireland. During their tenure at CCA, they produced exhibitions featuring artists such as Goldin+Senneby, Jesse Jones, Anja Kirschner and David Panos, Raqs Media Collective, Hito Steyerl, and Haegue Yang. At CCA, they organised the first Curatorial Intensive in Europe with Independent Curators International, From 'Official History' to Underrepresented Narratives. They were also part of the curatorial team for the 2013 Turner Prize as part of Derry’s City of Culture celebrations. Burns and Lundh's writing has appeared in publications such as Art-Agenda, Art Papers, Fillip, Journal for Curatorial Studies, Kaleidoscope, Mousse, Reviews in Cultural Theory, as well as exhibition catalogues and books.


Operations Manager

Madeleine King

Madeleine King joined the IMA as Operations Manager in 2015. After completing a Master of Arts at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, King combined her research interests in fashion and art, and co-founded online journal and curatorial outfit The Fashion Archives. She previously worked for Media Art Asia Pacific (MAAP) as Research and Program Development Manager, and has been active in artist-run-initiatives in Brisbane. She recently completed a research fellowship at the John Oxley Library, Brisbane. Contact: madeleine@ima.org.au

Membership and Development Manager

Ally Bennett

As Membership and Development Manager, Ally Bennett manages the IMA's philanthropic initiatives and sponsorship, specialising in developing event-based fundraising. Bennett holds a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art from Loughborough University, UK, and joined the IMA in 2014 after working for both the Contemporary Art Society and the Tate Modern in London. She has over five years experience in fundraising and events management, specifically with individual philanthropy, acquisition committees, and benefit events. Contact: ally@ima.org.au

Exhibitions Officer

David M Thomas

David M Thomas joined the IMA in 2015 as temporary Exhibitions Officer where he coordinates technical aspects of exhibition delivery. Thomas maintains an art practice and performs in art metal band, Eggvein. Recently awarded a PhD in Visual Arts from Griffith University, Brisbane, he also has a Masters of Arts Administration, UNSW, Sydney, and a Masters in Visual Arts, Sydney College of the Arts. He is a founding partner of creative content studio, Funhauser, with Suzanne Howard. Contact: david@ima.org.au


Public Programs and Publications Officer

Tess Maunder

Tess Maunder joined the IMA in 2015 as Public Programs and Publications Officer. She coordinates the IMA’s public programs and Motto IMA bookstore as well as our front of house, our gallery interns, and volunteers. Maunder has studied at the Queensland University of Technology, The Gwangju Biennale Foundation, and Independent Curators International. In 2014 she received an award from the Queensland Government and Arts Queensland acknowledging her contribution to the Visual Arts sector in Brisbane. Contact: tess@ima.org.au

Communications Officer and Special Projects Coordinator

Sarah D'Ardenne

Sarah D'Ardenne works on Special Projects, including the IMA’s Annual Cocktail Party and Development. She has a professional background in marketing and events with her business, The Design Issue, and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History & Business from Baylor University, USA, and Arts Marketing, Events & Festivals from the Queensland University of Technology. D'Ardenne joined the IMA team in 2014 after working in Rome and studying Architecture at the University of Queensland. Contact: sarah@ima.org.au


Jewel Mackenzie

Jewel Mackenzie is the IMA’s Bookkeeper and oversees the institution’s financial operations. Mackenzie, who joined the team in 2006, is a trained bookkeeper and a TAFE-certified fashion designer. She also has a PhD in Visual Art from the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University.

Frontier Imaginaries Curator

Vivian Ziherl

Vivian Ziherl is Curator at If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want to Be Part Of Your Revolution, Amsterdam. With Natasha Ginwala, Ziherl recently developed Landings at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, in collaboration with organisations such as Tropenmuseum and Stedelijk Museum (both Amsterdam). Ziherl was IMA’s Curatorial Fellow 2014/15 through the support of the Australia Council for the Arts, and is curating an exhibition titled Frontier Imaginaries here in 2016.

Associate Editor

Evie Franzidis

Evie Franzidis has been editing IMA publications since 2009. She has a Master’s degree in Art Historical Studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and a Master’s Degree in Writing, Editing, and Publishing from University of Queensland. As a freelance editor and writer, Franzidis works for a number of Queensland and national arts institutions.


Motto IMA Assistant

John Feely

As Bookstore Assistant, John Feely assists with the day-to-day running of the IMA Motto Bookstore and co-ordinating public events. After volunteering with the gallery he became part of the permanent staff in early 2015. Feely is a practicing artist, currently completing his Bachelor of Photography at Griffith University Queensland College of Art. Alongside this, he co-founded and continues to manage the Oral ARI, in Red Hill, Brisbane. 

IMA Advisory Committee

Maria Lind, Director, Tensta Konsthall, Stockholm; Nikos Papastergiadis, Professor in the School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne; and Raqs Media Collective, New Delhi.


Current Volunteers

Jaden Gallagher, Brigid Hansen, David Don, Christina Baker, Katy Birkett, Linda Trawoeger, Prudence McComish, Jade Gronroos, Katie Porter, Tori Lawson, Laura Burstow, Callum Galletly, Lucy Forsberg, Rachael Archibald, Jessica Rae Dorizac, Emma Caskey, Michaela Bear, Emma Liu, Helen Gramotnev, Callum McGrath and Kirralee Robinson.



Exhibition Photography

Queensland photographer Richard Stringer documented the IMA’s exhibitions between 1975 and 2015.

Board of Directors


Marie-Louise Theile

Creative Director of James Street Initiative, an urban renewal project. Brisbane-born Marie-Louise Theile has a distinguished media background as a former journalist and Ten Network news presenter. Theile brings expertise in media relations, urban development, capital projects, event management and corporate sponsorship, with roles in The Great Barrier Reef Foundation and Queensland Government projects.

  • Vice President: Rachel Crowley
  • Secretary: Dominique Jones
  • Treasurer: Sarah Campbell
  • Directors: Angela Goddard, John HirschfeldDouglas Quayle, Simon Wright, and Jay Younger.


Upcoming Events

Art Teachers Day
10 October 2015

The IMA’s Art Teachers Day is an annual professional development event for Queensland Art Teachers. The event is an immersive...

Closed for Install
11 October 2015

The IMA will be closed for the installation of our next exhibitions Slavs and Tatars: Mirror For Princes and Gordon Bennett: Be...

Gordon Bennett, Study for Possession Island (1991) oil, acrylic and gouache on illustration board (65 x 100 cm). Collection: Wavell State High School, Brisbane. Photography: John O’Brien. Copyright The Estate of Gordon Bennett.
Double Opening
24 October 2015

The IMA is pleased to present an exhibition of largely unseen works on paper by one of Australia’s most visionary...

The Tranny Tease
The Tranny Tease
25 October 2015

Please join us for a special lecture-performance by Slavs and Tatars entitled The Tranny Tease. Through a focus on Turkic languages of...

Patrick Staff, The Foundation (still from HDV, 28 mins, 2015). Co-commissioned by Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Chisenhale Gallery, London; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; and Spike Island, Bristol. Co-produced by Chisenhale Gallery and Spike Island. Courtesy of the artist.
The Foundation Book Launch
31 October 2015

Following the launch of Patrick Staff's The Foundation book at  Frieze Art Fair in London in mid October, we are lunching it...